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Criterium Engineers

Retaining Walls

Latest "Your Home" Article - Mon, 12/23/2013 - 11:21

What is a retaining wall? To retain, according to Webster’s Dictionary, means “to hold secure or intact.” A retaining wall, then, holds something “secure or intact.” Typically, as it matters to homeowners, the “something” is soil on a slope or at a higher elevation that, if left on its own, will not remain “secure and intact.”

Retaining walls come in many shapes, sizes and materials. This issue of YOUR HOME will examine a few of them.

Why Retaining Walls?

Have you ever looked around your property to see if you have retaining walls?

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Red Flags that Signal Structural Defects

Latest "Common Foundations" Article - Fri, 12/13/2013 - 13:17

Although the housing market has slowed, approximately 80 percent of new construction is still being built as a community association. The recent boom in the housing market has led more people to purchase condominiums and townhouses on impulse, without the benefit of several walk-throughs or an inspection by a Professional Engineer. More than likely, this has happened in your community as well. But what does it mean for the association and its residents?

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

A Few Words About WINTER....

Latest "Your Home" Article - Fri, 12/13/2013 - 13:04

Seen on a Maine license plate - BRRRRR. When it comes to winter, that says it all!

But what of our houses in winter? Think about it. Is your home winter-time safe?

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Defer, Replace, Improve

Latest "Common Foundations" Article - Thu, 09/26/2013 - 12:44
Those involved in providing reserve studies (engineers and accounting managers) perform a valuable function. They can tell you how much to put aside today for tomorrow's capital expenditures, as they have it down to a science.

There is also an art to reserve studies that is rarely discussed.

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Let's Caulk

Latest "Common Foundations" Article - Thu, 08/01/2013 - 10:16

Perhaps by now the March wind-driven weather has convinced the Board it has water infiltration problems, not to mention air infiltration issues.  Interior gypsum board ceilings and walls are starting to stain; floors are beginning to get wet and warp; and unit owners are complaining of mold formation.  Often the answer is not façade re-siding or a new roof surface but rather a need for new caulk.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Recovering from Hurricane Sandy; It's More than Just Cleaning Up

Latest "Your Home" Article - Thu, 11/15/2012 - 13:36

In the wake of the damage and flooding of Hurricane Sandy, Criterium Engineers encourages residents, homeowners, condo/apartment owners, and commercial property owners to have a thorough inspection, especially as winter advances.

Criterium Engineers are assessing the clean up for Hurricane Sandy. President of Criterium Engineers, Alan Mooney, P.E.says the devastation is still a shock but cautions commercial and residential property owners to consistently document damage as much as possible.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Road Weary

Latest "Common Foundations" Article - Fri, 04/13/2012 - 09:55

If you have a major paving job for your condo complex, it is best not to wait till the last minute. Now is the time to plan and get your best prices before spring has sprung.

When it comes to paving projects, often the Board needs an education on the paving issues and options available. There is a lot of misinformation out there. There is no better way to have a meeting’s agenda go astray than when no one knows the difference between or benefits of seal coating and a binder top.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

The Inflation Dilemma

Latest "Common Foundations" Article - Tue, 12/20/2011 - 12:22

Inflation is something we’ve not paid much attention to for many years. Since the 1980s, inflation has averaged almost negligible amounts in most years. Furthermore, we’ve grown used to making investments that approximate or at least keep us ahead of inflation based on our rate of return. Those days may be over.

Divergence of Indices

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Building Envelope Commissioning

Latest "Engineering Advisor" Article - Mon, 10/24/2011 - 10:52
BUILDING ENVELOPE COMMISSIONING

Building Commissioning is defined as “a quality-oriented process for achieving, verifying, and documenting that the performance of fac

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Specifications - Key to a Successful Job

Latest "Common Foundations" Article - Tue, 08/30/2011 - 14:10

Managing a capital budget and expenditures for a community association involves greater responsibility and risk than it does for one’s own home. This edition of Common Foundations addresses some of those differences and ways to control the process to assure a positive outcome.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Energy Performance Ratings

Latest "Engineering Advisor" Article - Fri, 03/11/2011 - 15:04

Buildings consume 40% of our total energy requirement (heating, cooling, lighting). 

The idea of rating building energy performance has been around for many years.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Fire! How Safe Are You In Your Home?

Latest "Your Home" Article - Thu, 10/28/2010 - 15:59

The following information has been compiled from several credible sources including the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).While for many years there have been two levels of fire protection available for your home, now there are three!

Smoke and fire alarms Fire extinguishers Fire sprinklers

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Home Security

Latest "Your Home" Article - Thu, 10/28/2010 - 15:55

Feeling safe at home is important. While some crime statistics are declining, media coverage of acts of violence and vandalism increases our concerns about the safety of our families and ourselves. Busy families with chaotic schedules add to the concern as one may be returning home alone, late at night.

If you want to increase the security of your home, what can you do?

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Home Security Checklist

Latest "Your Home" Article - Thu, 10/28/2010 - 15:51

Use this as a guide as you check your home for safety measures.Boxes marked “No” indicate areas where you could take action to improve your home’s security.These are just some of the steps you can take to decrease the likelihood that you or your home is targeted.

Exterior Doors

Yes

No

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Energy Star

Latest "Your Home" Article - Thu, 10/28/2010 - 15:43

ENERGY STAR is a program first introduced by the U.S. EnvironmentalProtection Agency (EPA) in 1992. It is designed to save energy. While many people relate the name to the energy-efficient performance of individual appliances, lighting and equipment (heating, cooling and water heating), the ENERGY STAR program actually is designed to rate the performance of an entire home.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Real Estate or Wheel Estate?

Latest "Your Home" Article - Thu, 10/28/2010 - 15:40

Is it modular, manufactured or mobile? Or…is it pre-cut, pre-fab or panelized? Or…is it site built or stick built? Or…is it a trailer?

And what regulations apply, if any? Previously, we discussed building codes and addressed some common myths and misunderstandings. Building codes, when they do exist, apply primarily to homes built on-site. But there are other types of homes to consider as well.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Building Codes - Myths and Realities

Latest "Your Home" Article - Thu, 10/28/2010 - 15:39

What is a building code? Is it a law? Or a guideline? Or a voluntary standard?

What do building codes mean to my home?

Perhaps you will find it useful to review how building codes affect your home, both the theory and the reality.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Security - It's Important; But At What Cost?

Latest "Your Home" Article - Thu, 10/28/2010 - 15:38

Since September 11, 2001, we have become a much more security-conscious nation. We expect better lighting in parking lots and walkways, prefer living in communities with controlled access, and lock our cars and houses more frequently. And we are installing security systems at a record-breaking rate. Companies installing security systems have been one of the fastestgrowing types of businesses in recent years. That’s probably a good thing.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Eight Ways You Can Save Energy!

Latest "Your Home" Article - Thu, 10/28/2010 - 15:35

It's not that hard, really!! If you have an existing home and want to reduce your energy bills, here are eight ways to do that. They are simple and basic because that's what energy saving is – simple and basic. If you read the latest Green Building guidelines published by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), you will find that building an energy-efficient home is a very big part of getting a Green Building rating.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers